Encouraging Eager Hands
A 7 Part Mini-Course
Publish by: Teaching Good Things
Jeff and Kathy Brodock
Work is Not a Dirty Four Letter Word
Teaching children to work, and work hard, is one the most valuable things you can teach them. It builds strong character and appreciation if done with a spirit of purpose and reward, not of dread or something to run from.
Teach them from a young age that work is a responsibility and it pleases their Lord. If they are old enough to pull the toys out, they are old enough to put toys away, but at the same time, do not expect perfection. Approach work with smiles, re-enforcing the fact that responsibility is not something to avoid.
Do not overwhelm children with too much work, too soon. A beginning 90 pound weight lifter does not start out with 200 pounds on each hand. Start out with simple things and increase their responsibility load little by little. You do not want to have too much work and too little play or pay. This will cause children to become bitter, not only about working, but about you. That does not mean all jobs are fun or rewarding, but at a young age we need to work on attitude, just as much as performance. Work is usually hard and trying. This is because of the fall of man, sin. Children need to understand this. There is no free ride, no easy ride.
While children are very young they want to please their parents. They want to be given tasks and know they are doing a good job. Parents make big mistakes when they push Jr aside and clean up the mess themselves instead of teaching Jr how to clean it up WITH them. It may not be done perfectly when little hands are doing the job, but when they are young we must first train their attitude. Let them take responsibility and help, and then praise them. When they are not looking, go back and do it 'right'. Encouragement is the way to lead children; criticism is the best way to push them away.
Refer to Scripture for Purpose
God told Adam that he would have to work and provide for his family by the sweat of his brow:
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
The Proverbs 31 Woman is constantly working with her hands to care for home and family.:
It is her works that praise her because she has done her jobs well.
She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Once children begin to understand that work is just part of life and that it is a command from God, then they can start to understand the purpose of it. They can start to understand that God did not put us here just to eat, drink and be merry! He created us for a reason, to glorify him in everything we do. We work because God tells us to. We glorify Him by obeying with a willing spirit. Just as Jesus was willing to come to earth and do the hard work of redeeming our souls from hell. It is a testimony to others when we enjoy our work, when we persevere even when it is not pleasant.
In our life long lesson of dying to self and living for Christ, work can teach us diligence, humility, obedience, gratefulness, patience, attentiveness, orderliness, responsibility, initiative, creativity, thriftiness, availability, and self control.
Next time we will discuss how God views laziness.
Press On Toward the High Calling,
Jeff and Kathy Brodock